Amsterdam - City of Bicycles!
Trip Start Apr 15, 2009
16Trip End Jul 10, 2009
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We grabbed a map and made our way along the canals to Anne Frank House. They have created a fantastic museum around the tiny annexe that her and her family hid in during the Nazi regime (if you don't know who she is - Google her name! It's a sad but amazing story). You really get a sense of what those poor people went through at the time - it was a really moving and interesting way to spend a couple of hours.
We wandered around the canals for a while, soaking up the atmosphere and smelling wafts of a certain substance that the city is known for :) One thing we could not get over was the amount of bicycles - there were literally HUNDREDS of them, as it is basically the main form of transport for locals to get around the city. Every spare corner is filled with racks of bikes, and you really have to keep your wits about you - you can be run over at any time!!!!
There are heaps of tourists in Amsterdam - which means a lot of people speak English - very helpful! Most of the signs were in English also. Dutch is a very strange language - it almost seems made-up when you listen to conversations :)
The next day we caught...not a bus...but a boat! They have canal tourist boats that motor in and out and around the city waters. It was very peaceful and really nice way to spend a morning seeing the city. In the afternoon we headed down the main shopping streets, and also saw the flower markets - I don't think I have ever seen so many flower bulbs in my life. And we would have brought back hundreds of tulips for my mum if we had the chance (Mumsie's favourite flower)!!!
If it weren't for the awful hotel, Amsterdam would almost get top marks - not very big, but so different with all the canals and laid-back way of the people who live there. Just keep out the way of bikes!!